Résumé / Abstract Seminaire_IAP
« The tale of two counter-streams: a leisurely exploration of violent secular dynamics in galactic nuclei »

Jihad Touma
Dept. Physics, American Univ. Beirut (Beyrouth, Liban)

We will describe the unfolding of a violent secular instability which afflicts counter-rotating clusters of stars, dominated by super-massive black holes, lurking in the centers of galaxies. Our tale will follow the instability from inception (in thin disks), to the (rather rapid) relaxation to thickened, lopsided, and uniformly precessing equilibria. In the process, we will review motivations and formal machinery for the study of secular (stellar) dynamics, describe novel tools which we developed for that purpose, and discuss the direct relevance of our results to the double nucleus of M31, and the counter-streaming populations in the Galactic Center.
vendredi 28 mars 2008 - 11:00
Salle des séminaires Évry Schatzman, Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris
Page web du séminaire / Seminar's webpage